Poultry producer Astral Foods has confirmed that an ammonia leak occurred at the refrigeration plant at the company’s Festive abattoir, in Olifantsfontein, in the early hours of Friday morning.
The Festive abattoir and neighbouring businesses were evacuated as a precaution.
All relevant emergency procedures as stipulated in the Major Hazardous Installation regulations were followed, the producer said, adding that the site and surrounding areas have since been declared safe by the Ekurhuleni emergency services.
“Our primary concern is for the wellbeing of our staff and their families. Of the people who were involved in the incident, 15 were hospitalised. No fatalities have been reported,” Astral said in its statement.
The incident would be investigated by the relevant authorities and Astral has said that it would assist, where necessary, with due process.